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USS Paul Revere (APA 248) on 30 August 1958.

USS Paul Revere (APA 248) on 30 August 1958.
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Class: PAUL REVERE (APA 248, C4-S-1a)
Design: SCB Project Nos. 78 and 78a respectively and MA C4-S-1d, conversions of MA C4-S-1a
Displacement (tons): 10,709 light, 16,838 load
Dimensions (feet): 564.0' oa, 528.0' pp x 76.0' max x 27.0' load
Armament: 4-3"/50T
Accommodations: 529 crew and 2,078 troops
Speed (kts.): 21
Propulsion (HP): 22,000
Machinery: Geared steam turbines, 2 boilers (600psi/875deg), 1 screw

248PAUL REVERE14 Sep 1956New York SB15 May 195211 Apr 19533 Sep 1958
249FRANCIS MARION16 Mar 1959New York SB30 Mar 195313 Feb 19546 Jul 1961

APANameTDecommStrikeDisposalFateMA Sale/Depart
248PAUL REVERE1 Oct 19791 Jan 198017 Jan 1980Trf.--
249FRANCIS MARION14 Sep 19791 Jan 198011 Jul 1980Trf.--

Class Notes:
In 1946 the Ship Characteristics Board listed a series of projects for amphibious ships with a 20-knot speed to increase their survivability against modern submarines based on the German Type XXI. These included an APA (SCB 14), AKA (SCB 15), AGC (SCB 16), LSD (SCB 17), and LST (SCB 32). In June 1946 BUSHIPS recommended omitting procurement of all of these from the FY 1948 building program but the AKA was retained and design work continued with an objective of developing a single type hull and engineering plant easily adaptable to rapid conversion to a high speed APA or AKA in time of war and suitable for building in merchant ship yards. A project for a 20-knot, 20,000-ton new-construction Attack Cargo Ship (AKA) was distributed by CNO for comment on 2 October 1947 but did not reach the approval stage. In 1948 BUSHIPS produced two sketch designs for a 564' oa AKA along with an APA variant. In 1948 the Maritime Commission received funding to develop a 20-knot APA/AKA in cargo ship form, BUSHIPS developed another sketch design of its AKA that was more suitable for commercial operation, and after many compromises the Maritime Commission completed plans in the summer of 1950 for the Mariner class freighter, specifically intended for wartime conversion to a fast amphibious ship.

Approved characteristics for a new APA converted from a Mariner (MA C4-S-1a) type ship, SCB Project No. 78, were promulgated on 12 Jul 1951. Two Mariners were ultimately converted to APAs, one under the FY 1957 and one under the FY 1959 program. They had originally been proposed for the 1956 and 1958 programs respectively. SCB Project No. 78 was updated on 14 January 1955, 21 September 1955, and 2 October 1957 with a final change on 25 April 1958 and approved characteristics for the second ship, SCB Project No. 78a, were promulgated on 5 July 1957 and updated on 18 June 1958 with a final change on 11 December 1958. As in SCB Project No. 77 (AKA 112), the designs restored some Navy features omitted from the Mariner including two quadruped cargo masts. The Navy's data sheet for SCB Project No. 78 as of 11 March 1957 had an armament of 6-3"/50T as in AKA 112; the two mounts on the superstructure were soon omitted and the guns on the bow moved from the centerline to the sides as in AE 23. The classification of APA 248 and name PAUL REVERE for MA hull 27 were approved effective 4 June 1957. MA hull 29, which became APA 249, was previously to have become AG 155, the third Mariner earmarked to support the Jupiter liquid-fueled fleet ballistic missile program. AG 155 was deleted from the FBM program on 13 Nov 1956, although AG 153 and 154 were converted to support the POLARIS program.

The Mariner program achieved little commercial success and by December 1953 the Navy was considering ways to use the underemployed ships. On 9 July 1956 CNO Admiral Arleigh Burke wrote that the Navy would acquire eight additional Mariners (at this time the Navy had just acquired AKA 112 and AG 153 and had immediate plans to acquire APA 248 and AG 154-155) and requested that modernization of these ships be done as inexpensively as was consistent with having them in good operating condition. Specifically, equipment in them should not be changed simply because it did not meet Navy Department specifications if it was doing the job.

Ship Notes:
248PAUL REVERE27FY 1957. Ex DIAMOND MARINER, completed 22 Dec 1953. Operated by the Prudential S.S. Co. from 22 Dec 1953 to 24 Jul 1954, then to NDRF, Olympia. Converted by Todd Shipyards, San Pedro (contract Aug 1956). On 25 September 1968 effective 1 January 1969 PAUL REVERE (APA 248) was reclassified to LPA 248. To Naval Reserve Force 1975. Transferred to Spain as CASTILLA (TA-12, later L-21), stricken 1998.
249FRANCIS MARION29FY 1959. Ex PRAIRIE MARINER, completed 25 May 1954. Operated by the American Hawaiian S.S. Co. on allocation to MSTS from 25 May 1954 to 6 Jan 1955, then to NDRF, James River. Converted by Bethlehem Steel at Baltimore. On 25 September 1968 effective 1 January 1969 FRANCIS MARION (APA 249) was reclassified to LPA 249. Transferred to Spain as ARAGON (TA-11, later L-22), stricken 2000.

Page Notes:
Compiled: 29 Jul 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021
Special sources: Norman Friedman, U.S. Amphibious Ships and Craft, (Annapolis, 2002).